With more consumers purchasing tablets, tablet ad spending is predicted to crush smartphone ad budgets over the next four years.Although the screen size and greater functionality provides exciting opportunities, advertisers are still facing major challenges when advertising on tablets.
We polled experts from R/GA, Razorfish, and Mojiva — known for leadership in the digital advertising world — to see the biggest problems with tablet advertising right now.
1. Getting the budget:
According to Jonathan Greene, R/GA’s managing director of mobile and social practice, “It can be challenging to get clients to invest in mobile advertising, and adding tablets as another potential touchpoint adds complexity in the sell-through.”
In fact, even though tablets are rapidly rising in popularity — Gartner predicted that 655 million units will make it into users’ hands by 2016 — experts told BI that both brands and advertisers still think of advertising on the device as an afterthought.
“I hear rumblings around the industry that the reason some of these agencies/brands won’t invest big budgets (compared to other mediums, that is) into the space is because no one has “cracked it” yet,” Amy Vale, VP of global research and strategic communications for Mojiva, said. “I don’t think that is true at all. Mobile and tablet advertising work, it’s just about understanding the mediums and developing campaigns specific for each.”
Although Vale continued that Mojiva Tab, the company’s tablet network, has seen a 20-fold increase in tablet ad requests in the last 20 months with 2.13 billion tablet ad requests per month as of August.
2. It’s hard to see an ad’s reach:
Furthermore, when ad shops are trying to convince clients to invest in digital advertising, said clients usually want to see statistics for the advertisements’ potential reach.
Unfortunately, those numbers are virtually impossible to find.
“Publishers are a bit cagey in disclosing tablet readership — plus there’s no third party verification that I’m aware of,” Jeremy Lockhorn, VP of emerging media and advanced media solutions at Razorfish, told us.
3. Publishers are charging too much:
Publishers actually have a long way to go to make tablet advertising an easier and more compelling service.Lockhorn continued that monetary challenges aren’t just coming from the clients, but “Publishers, too, are still figuring out how to support from a technology perspective, and how to price it.”
“I’ve heard some very ridiculous price quotes for “interactive” ads in magazines on tablets,” he told BI. “So that’s a challenge. It’ll get sorted out, but it’s frustrating in the near term.”
4. Premium supply is essential:
Vale added to her cohorts’ laundry list of complaints with publishers aiding the progression of tablet ads.
“Many publishers are still slow when it comes to building a mobile-optimised site, let alone a tablet-optimised site or application,” she said. “Publishers need to prioritise their mobile strategies to include both tablet and smartphone experiences for users; only then will they fully harness the monetization opportunities that are available to them.”
5. Remember — tablets are different than phones:
Not all second screen experiences are created equal. Sure phones and tablets are both “mobile,” but screen size and functionality should lend themselves to different user experiences.
“One challenge is understanding and educating how tablets are different from phones,” Greene said. “People typically think about richer ads (like iAD), which comes with a host of caveats.”
Vale agreed, stating:
“Both devices should be treated differently when planning for a campaign – the user experiences, audiences and engagement of tablet devices are very different from mobile. Tablet is far more of a laid back, immersive experience, whereas mobile is transactional snippets of information.Tablet devices also tend to be one piece of a multi-screen experience and are predominantly used in the home (while simultaneously using other media). The type of content and activities performed by users on tablets is often long-form such as reading news articles and watching videos. Not understanding, integrating and then tailoring tablet ad campaigns based on these insights is a detriment to brands.”
6. The creative needs to get more … creative:
Tablets provide so many opportunities for creativity, but at times ad shops are hesitant to try new things.”The vast majority of ads are simply taken directly from the magazine – static imagery,” Lockhorn said. “Beautiful, but not capitalising on the inherent interactive capabilities of the device.”
7. The ads need to be more of a streamlined experience:
“Interstitials, forced slideshows and auto-starting videos may drive page views and impressions, but they can create awkward and disruptive user experiences,” Greene said. “Recently I saw a takeover ad open within a web window inside of Twitter, which rendered the ad impossible to close. It’s unlikely that the ad server was aware of where it was serving the ad, but we need to do better than this.”
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